The Man Who Ate the World: In Search of the Perfect Dinner
3 out of 5: In The Man Who Ate the World, Jay Rayner (the restaurant critic for the London Observer) chronicles his eating adventures in the world's leading restaurant cities, including Las Vegas, Moscow, Dubai, Tokyo, New York, London, and Paris. This is an entertaining armchair guide to high-end dining, including descriptions of food, interviews with chefs and other foodie personalities, and other food-related commentary. Some of Rayner's restaurant experiences live up to the hype, others fall short. Fortunately, Rayner's style, filled with cynical humor and a healthy dose of self-deprecation, is charming and accessible throughout.
On the downside, Rayner's adventure becomes tedious near the end. Indeed, even Rayner is ready to quit once he reaches Paris, the final city on his tour: "Lunch in a three-star no longer strikes me as a pleasure. To me, it seems to be a cruel and unusual punishment." High-end restaurant lovers will enjoy The Man Who Ate the World, but others will likely be quickly bored by the detailed descriptions of Rayner's many meals.